and the letter from the Department does not make perfectly clear, I would respectfully request that more definite instructions be furnished to enable me to carry out the views and intentions of the Government.
I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
W. S. ROSECRANS,
HDQRS. DEPT. OF THE MO., OFFICE CHIEF OF CAV., Saint Louis, Mo., February 28, 1864.
[Major General W. S. ROSECRANS]:
In comparing the expense of mounting cavalry on private or U. S. horses it is impossible to select any two regiments as representations of the two systems. The service of regiments has been so different that the result would depend entirely upon the two regiments selected. Comparing, for instance, the First Arkansas Cavalry, which has received 2,600 horses in eighteen months, with some of the Missouri State Militia, the result would be much in favor of adopting the system of allowing men to furnish their own horses. The reports I now receive monthly have not as yet give me data sufficient to decide so important a question; besides, if I compare the volunteer and militia cavalry in the department, the result is still accidental, for many of the regiments combine the two systems, and these have all the disadvantages of both sight but little of the good, the U. S. horses doing most of the work and receiving but little care.
For the services of a regiment of 1,000 men, for the use and risk of horse and equipments, Government pays in three years $438,000. This, at the average price of horse and equipment, would purchase a remount and new equipment every year. Admitting that a regiment of volunteer cavalry costs as much in remounts, at the end of three years, Government has to foot another hill. Two thousand private hoses have been killed or died in service, and the United States has not been able to furnish full forage, consequently $300,000 more has to be paid to the regiment which furnished its own horses. That is, a regiment can be remounted every six months at the cost now paid by Government for a regiment of private horses. Taking the Missouri State Militia, and supposing three-quarters of them re-enlist, the 6,000 re-enlisted men are worth more than the 8,000 new in service. It will cost $850,000 to mount them, which they will refund to Government in eleven months, at 40 cents per day for use of horse.
I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
JOHN V. DU BOIS,
Colonel and Chief of Cavalry.
HEADQUARTERS POST, New Madrid, Mo., February 28, 1864.
Brigadier General CLINTON B. FISK,
Commanding Saint Louis District:
SIR: Last evening Lieutenant Ralph, Company M, First Missouri Cavalry, returned from a scout through Pemiscot County to the Arkansas line. He has with him 25 men of the same regiment. He